United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

22 September 1995


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 95 (a)


Progress in the implementation of specific actions
related to the particular needs and problems of  
land-locked developing countries

Note by the Secretary-General

1.   In  paragraph 17  of its  resolution 48/169  of 21  December 1993,  the
General Assembly welcomed the report of  the Secretary-General of the United
Nations Conference  on Trade and Development  on specific  action related to
the  particular  needs and  problems  of  land-locked  developing  countries
(A/48/487, annex) and requested him to  prepare another report, taking  into
account  the provisions of  that resolution,  for submission  to the General
Assembly at its fiftieth session.

2.    Pursuant  to that  request, the  Secretary-General  has the  honour to
transmit to the Assembly  the report of the  Secretary-General of the United
Nations Conference on Trade and Development (see annex).

3.  Furthermore,  the report of the  Second Meeting of Governmental  Experts
from Land-locked  and Transit  Developing Countries  and Representatives  of
Donor Countries  and Financial and Development  Institutions, called for  in
paragraph 10 of the same resolution, is also  before the General Assembly in
document  TD/B/42(1)/11-TD/B/LDC/AC.1/7.   Annexed  to that  report  is  the
Global Framework for  Transit Transport Cooperation between Land-locked  and
Transit Developing  Countries and  the Donor Community,  which, inter  alia,
outlines a wide range of recommendations  for further appropriate action  to
improve transit transport systems.

95-33310 (E)   081195/...


Progress report by the UNCTAD secretariat*


  Paragraphs  Page

INTRODUCTION ...............................................      15

  AND DEVELOPMENT (UNCTAD) .............................2 - 75

  A.  Evaluation of the transit systems of land-locked
      and transit developing countries .................      25

  B.  Symposium for land-locked and transit developing
    countries ........................................  3 - 55

  C.  Other UNCTAD activities ..........................  6 - 76


  A.  Summaries of replies received from individual
    countries ........................................  8 - 257

    Argentina ........................................       87

    Burkina Faso .....................................      97

    Central African Republic .........................     107

    Congo ............................................     118

    Djibouti .........................................     128

    Ghana ............................................     138

    Lao People's Democratic Republic .................     148

    Malawi ...........................................  15 - 169

    Mali .............................................     179


     *    Previously issued as document TD/B/42(1)/14.
CONTENTS (continued)

  Paragraphs  Page

    Mongolia .........................................  18 - 1910

      Senegal ..........................................     2010

    Swaziland ........................................     2111

    Uganda ...........................................  22 - 2411

    Zambia ...........................................     2511
  B.  Summaries of replies received from international
    organizations ....................................  26 - 3912

    Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) .............  26 - 2712

    Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) .............  28 - 3112

    Economic Commission for Latin America and the
    Caribbean (ECLAC) ................................     3213

    Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific
    (ESCAP) .......................................... 33 - 3613

    International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ......     3714

    United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) ......     3814

    World Bank .......................................      3915

  C.  Summaries of replies received from
    intergovernmental organizations ..................  40 - 5015

    African Development Bank .........................     4015

    Asian Development Bank ...........................  41 - 4215

    Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)     4316

    International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) .     4416

    Ministerial Conference of West and Central
    African States on Maritime Transport (MINCONMAR) .     4516

    Permanent Secretariat of the Transit Transport
    Coordination Authority of the Northern Corridor ..     4617

CONTENTS (continued)

  Paragraphs  Page

    Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern
    African States ...................................  47 - 5017

  D.  Conclusions ......................................  51 - 5418

1.  In paragraph 17 of its resolution  48/169, the General Assembly welcomed
the  reports of  the Secretary-General  of  the  United Nations  and of  the
SecretaryGeneral of UNCTAD on specific action  related to the specific needs
and problems  of land-locked developing  countries (A/48/487) and  requested
the  latter to prepare another report, taking into account the provisions of
the  above  resolution,  for  submission  to  the  General  Assembly  at its
fiftieth session.   In  accordance with  Conference resolution 137(VI),  the
report is being  submitted to  the General  Assembly through  the Trade  and
Development Board.

    DEVELOPMENT (UNCTAD)                                   

A.  Evaluation of the transit systems of land-locked and transit
    developing countries                                       

2.  In paragraph 10 of its resolution 48/169, the General Assembly  requests
the  Secretary-General  of UNCTAD  to  make  an  evaluation  of the  transit
systems of  the land-locked and transit  developing countries.   The purpose
of this evaluation  was to serve as a basis  for the review of the  progress
in  the  development  of the  transit systems  which  was undertaken  by the

Second  Meeting  of  Governmental  Experts  from  Land-locked  and   Transit
Developing Countries  and Representatives of  Donor Countries and  Financial
Development Institutions  called for  by the  General Assembly  in the  same
paragraph of the  resolution.  The results  of this evaluation are  outlined
in the  documentation for the above  meeting contained in  annex III of  the
report of the meeting which is before the  Board for consideration and  will
be  submitted   to   the   General   Assembly  at   its   fiftieth   session

B.  Symposium for land-locked and transit developing countries

3.     In  paragraph   12  of   General  Assembly   resolution  48/169,  the
SecretaryGeneral of  UNCTAD is  invited to organize,  in collaboration  with
the Administrator  of the  United Nations  Development Programme (UNDP)  and
the  executive heads  of the  regional  commissions,  a symposium  for land-
locked  and  transit  developing  countries  to  address  specific  regional
problems in improving transit transport systems.   The preparations for this
symposium, which took place from  14 to 16  June 1995 in New York,  involved
the following key activities.

4.  The UNCTAD  secretariat fielded several  experts in Africa and Asia  who
carried out  comprehensive analyses of the  specific actions  being taken at
the  national and  subregional levels  to  develop  and improve  the transit
transport systems and made recommendations for  future work.  These regional
studies were  supplemented by the ongoing  work of  the UNCTAD's secretariat
related to  the particular  needs and  problems of  land-locked and  transit
developing  countries,  as  well  as  by  contributions  from  the  regional
commissions,  UNDP,  the  World  Bank and  the  regional  development banks.
Summaries of these contributions, as well as  those of replies received from
individual  land-locked  and  transit   developing  countries  and  relevant
international and  intergovernmental organizations are  given in section  II
below.    These  summaries  were  submitted  to  the  Symposium  in document
UNCTAD/LLDC/SYMP/2 and Add.1. 1/

5.   The 32 land-locked and  transit developing  countries that participated
in the Symposium 2/ agreed on a range of proposals for the development of  a
global  framework  for  transit  transport  cooperation.    These  proposals
covered  the key  areas in  the transit  transport sector, namely,  rail and
road  transit  traffic, port  facilities  and  services,  inland  waterways,
airfreight and  communications. Proposals  for donor support  to the  sector
were also  elaborated.  The  conclusions and recommendations for appropriate
action in  the above  areas which  were agreed  upon by  the Symposium  were
further discussed  with the  development partners  in the  intergovernmental
meeting of experts referred  to in paragraph 2  above, which finally adopted
the  Global Framework  for Transit  Cooperation between the  Land-locked and
Transit Developing  Countries  and  the Donor  Community.   This  Framework,
which  is  annexed  to the  report  of  the  meeting,  represented  a  major
breakthrough towards  the establishment  of triangular  arrangements for  an
efficient and self sustainable transit transport cooperation.

C.  Other UNCTAD activities

6.   As part  of its  technical cooperation  activities on  behalf of  land-
locked  and transit  developing  countries, UNCTAD  continued  to  implement
three  subregional  transit   transport  technical  assistance  projects  in
West/Central, East/Central and southern  Africa.  Because  of the  financial
problems of the funding agencies, these activities, however, mainly  focused
on the assessment of the results that had  been achieved during the previous
years of the projects. This assessment was  used as a basis for the terminal
reviews of the projects that were undertaken in the second half of 1994.

7.  The  beneficiary countries of  the above projects  highly commended  the
work of  the projects and their  positive impact on  the improvement of  the
transit  transport  systems  and  urged  donor  institutions  to   seriously

consider providing resources for the reactivation  of the activities of  the
projects.  The UNCTAD  secretariat was requested to play a catalyst role  in
mobilizing this support. Since then,  contacts with various funding agencies
have been  established in this regard,  and detailed  future work programmes
have been elaborated.  The intergovernmental  meeting of experts with donors
underscored  the importance of  reviving these  projects and  it is expected
that  this endorsement  will lead  to a  favourable response  to the current
efforts by  the UNCTAD secretariat to  mobilize resources  that are required
to set a new technical assistance programme in motion.

        AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS                         

A.  Summaries of replies received from individual countries


8.  In addition  to the Paraguay-Parana waterway  transport agreement of  30
June 1992  between Argentina,  Bolivia, Brazil,  Paraguay  and Uruguay,  the
transit  transport of Bolivia and Paraguay with Argentina is governed by the
following agreements:

  (a)  With Bolivia:

     (i)  Border traffic agreement (17 September 1937);

    (ii)Agreement establishing  a mixed  commission for  border traffic  (18
July 1970);

   (iii)  Santa Cruz-Trinidad railway agreement (31 December 1970);

  (b)  With Paraguay:

     (i)  Border waterway transport agreement (31 July 1972);

    (ii)  Land transport agreement (30 October 1992).

Burkina Faso

9.  Burkina Faso  cooperates with the neighbouring transit countries in  the
framework of bilateral and subregional transit agreements and  arrangements.
The  Heads  of  State  of  the Economic  Community  of  West African  States
(ECOWAS) signed  two conventions  designed to  regulate transit  operations,
namely the "Convention sur le transport  routier inter Etats" (TIE)  (Inter-
State Road Transport Convention) and the  "Convention sur le transit routier
inter-Etats" (TRIE) (Inter-State Road Transit Convention).  At the  national
level,  Burkina  Faso is  undertaking measures  to improve  transit systems,
including the reduction of road tolls and other controls.  At the  bilateral
level, it  has supported  coordinated efforts  to reduce  transit times  and
costs  and  to  improve  the  statistical  database  regarding  intercountry
transit operations.

Central African Republic

10.   The six  Heads of States  members of  the Central  African Customs and
Economic  Union (UDEAC)  agreed in  1994  to take  measures to  improve  the
current transit  system in the subregion.  The Central African Republic took

the  initiative to set  up specific  working groups  to make recommendations
regarding new arrangements  to improve customs procedures and practices, the
organization of  the international road  transport system,  the transit bond
guarantee system and the conditions of the vehicles involved in the  transit

11.   The rehabilitation of  the transit system is the  priority area in the
National Transport Plan of the Congo.  The  Ministry of Transport and  Civil
Aviation has  taken a number  of measures to  facilitate the procedures  for
the movement  of  transit cargo  from the  Central African  Republic.   This
initiative is  part of  the support  programme for  the subregion, which  is
sponsored by the European Union and the World Bank.


12.   The  Djibouti Government  is making  efforts to  develop its container
terminal into a regional maritime facility for  handling transit goods.   In
December 1993, the  Government signed a  convention in Addis  Ababa to  this
effect.    This  convention  outlines  a  number  of  facilitating measures,
including  tariff reduction for  transit cargo.   There  are, however, still
problems   related  to   the  poor   implementation  of   agreed   measures.
Furthermore,  the  rail  and  road  facilities   leading  to  the  port  are
inadequate.  There is, therefore, a  need for efficient multimodal transport
systems that effectively link the port to the neighbouring countries.


13.  Ghana,  as a transit country, has  adopted a number of policy  measures
and initiated  some actions  to assist  neighbouring land-locked  countries.
These   include,  ongoing   internal  consultations   to   simplify  customs
documentation  and   administrative  procedures;   the  review  of   customs
administrative charges on transit cargo; the  allocation of adequate land to
Mali  and  Burkina  Faso for  the  development  of  facilities  at  the Tema
Harbour; the development of an inland  waterways transport facility as  well
as the  construction and rehabilitation of  relevant road  linkages.  Action
is also being  initiated to create a free  port regime for  the port of Tema
that  would  facilitate the  flow  of  transit  traffic  to the  land-locked
countries, and to develop an electronic data  interchange (EDI) system.   An
open-door policy  has been pursued, aiming  at liberalizing  most of Ghana's
economic  activities,  including  transport   and  communication   services.
Financial constraints on the implementation of  most of the transport plans,
cumbersome customs procedures and the absence of an institutional  framework
to   monitor  the  implementation  of  bilateral  agreements  are  the  main
obstacles to the development of the transit system.

Lao People's Democratic Republic

14.   The Australian-funded "friendship bridge"  over the  Mekong, which was
opened in  early 1994,  is the  first one  to connect  Thailand and  the Lao
People's Democratic  Republic.  Moreover, a  series of  meetings between the
two  countries  are being  conducted to  enhance bilateral  cooperation with
respect to  all forms of transport  links.  A  memorandum on cooperation  in
communications  for  1994 was  signed  between  the Lao  People's Democratic
Republic and  Viet Nam, which  describes priority  road connections  between
the two countries, in particular those  allowing the Lao People's Democratic
Republic to use  the facilities in ports in  Viet Nam.   In January 1994, an
agreement  was  also signed  in  Kunming  between  China,  Myanmar, the  Lao
People's Democratic  Republic and  Thailand that  will  provide for  two-way
navigation on part of the Mekong river.


15.   The  Government of  Malawi  continues  to participate,  under regional
arrangements like  the  Preferential  Trade Area  for Eastern  and  Southern
African States (PTA) and the  Southern African Development Community (SADC),
in  transit  traffic  facilitation  as  well  as   entering  into  bilateral
agreements.  Malawi is committed to  cooperating with its transit neighbours
in removing  problems related  to poor  formulation and  weak monitoring  of
implementation and  settlement of disputes with  respect to  such aspects as
transit routes  by rail,  road and  inland-waterways, customs  documentation
and procedures, bonding  guarantee systems, storage facilities for goods  in
transit,  road  maintenance regimes,  road user  charges and  procedures for
clearing and forwarding.  More specifically,  Malawi has initiated action on
a  number of issues, such as the restructuring of  the railways in an effort
to  move to  a more  aggressive  market-oriented  management, plans  for the
establishment of a road fund to be used specifically for the maintenance  of
the roads,  the implementation  of PTA-harmonized  transit charges,  carrier
licences, and harmonized axle-load limits, and  24 hour-a-day service at the
borders.  Furthermore,  with the assistance of  the United States Agency for
International  Development  (USAID), a  national transport  policy framework
has been drafted, which aims at  developing a coordinated transport  system,
in a market-oriented approach, and a sound base for the various carriers  to
provide reliable, efficient and economic services  to the people.   However,
Malawi  recognizes  that  there  is  an  acute  shortage  of  trained  human
resources in the country  to meet the requirements  of transit operations at
all levels.  Human resource development  programmes are therefore a priority
in the development of transport.

16.   On the  whole, Malawi  feels that  most of the  recommendations of the
Meeting  of the Governmental Experts from Land-locked and Transit Developing
Countries  and  Representatives   of  Donor  Countries  and  Financial   and
Development  Institutions held  in  May 1993  in  New  York  are yet  to  be
implemented.   It is regrettable that some transit countries  have not shown
the  appropriate  willingness   in  that  respect.    Some  countries   have
instituted stringent  policies governing transit traffic to the detriment of
the economies of land-locked  countries.  Lack of cooperative efforts on the
part of  some neighbouring transit countries  and lack of  commitment to the
implementation of bilateral  or regional agreements reached in the  relevant
institutional forums continue to be major  impediments in the improvement of
transit systems.


17.   The Malian  economy is  heavily constrained by the  high transit costs
which it  incurs on the movement  of its import and  export cargoes.   These
transport costs are estimated  at 8 per cent  of the gross  domestic product
(GDP) and represent about 30 per cent of  the total import costs.   Mali has
signed  a  number   of  bilateral  and   multilateral  agreements  with  its
neighbouring countries, including the TIE and  TRIE Conventions (see para. 9
above).   These agreements  allow for  the use of port  facilities under the
management of  Malian agencies. Cote d'Ivoire  and Senegal  provide the port
facilities for Malian cargo and special  arrangements have been agreed  upon
with these  transit  countries  with  regard to  customs  documentation  and
procedures and other related  facilities.  It is important to note that,  in
response to General Assembly resolution 48/169, Cote d'Ivoire suspended  the
traditional payment  of a special  fee for the certificate  that is required
to  accompany  vehicles  transporting  transit  goods  to  Mali  (Lettre  de
voiture).   Furthermore,  Mali  established  a  national committee  for  the
follow-up of the activities  of the now  terminated UNDP/UNCTAD  subregional
transit transport project.   Mali also drew  up an investment programme  for
the  transport sector for the period of 1994-1998, for which donor financing
is being sought.


18.   Transit transport  operations in  Mongolia are  governed by  bilateral

cooperation agreements  with China,  Kazakstan and  the Russian  Federation.
Mongolia initiated  measures  to  enhance railway  capacity.   The  Mongolia
railway system,  which covers 1,800 kilometres,  plays an  important role in
the  movement of transit  cargo.   Cargo to and from  the Russian Federation
and  Europe is transported via a broad-gauge line with no interruption along
the  routes; however,  cargo  to and  from China  and Asian  countries needs
transshipment.  Mongolia  is, therefore,  taking  measures  to  improve  the
transshipment facilities at the borders.

19.   The implementation  of the proposed  project of  Tumen River  Economic
Development Area, in  which Mongolia is  participating, will enable Mongolia
to use a new port on the Pacific Ocean via China.   Furthermore, the planned
construction  of more  than 3,000  kilometres  of  railway from  the eastern
frontier of Mongolia  to the city of Biisk  in the Russian Federation  under
the same  project is expected  to reduce the  transit time  considerably.  A
number   of  projects   for   upgrading   transit  roads   are  also   under
implementation.   This includes a highway  connecting the  western region of
the country with the Russian Federation and China.


20.   Senegal provides  transit facilities  for Mali's transit  traffic.  In
order  to facilitate  the transit  services  for  Malian goods,  a bilateral
treaty  was signed  with  Mali  related to  international rail/road  transit
which will soon be ratified.  At the subregional level, Senegal also  signed
the TRIE Convention within the framework of ECOWAS.   It also holds  regular
consultations  with its  neighbouring countries with a  view to streamlining
transit formalities and procedures.

21.  A multilateral agreement which has been  concluded within the framework
of  the  Southern African  Customs Union  has  considerably facilitated  the
transit  of goods through  South Africa, and the  conclusion of an agreement
with Mozambique  is seriously being  considered.   Transit and international
road routes and rail facilities in  Swaziland are reasonably maintained  and
operated.  Development of the transport  sector is, however, being  affected
by scarce trained human resources and inefficient institutional  capacities.
A  fairly adequate  transit system  exists in  South Africa.   However,  the
transit facilities  in Mozambique are  poor and not reliable.   The corridor
connecting  Swaziland  to  the seaports  in  Mozambique,  which  offers  the
potential  for significant  reduction in transit costs,  is underutilized at
present.   Technical  assistance  is required  to facilitate  discussions on
various transit transport issues between Mozambique and Swaziland. 


22.   Uganda's transit  network includes  the northern  and central corridor
transit axes.  Mechanisms, such as the Joint Consultation Committees at  the
bilateral  level  between   Uganda  and  each  of  the   transit/land-locked
countries, are in place  to ensure that the  relevant rules are implemented.
Poor road infrastructure is no longer  a problem for transit traffic through
Uganda.  There is need, however, to harmonize  the regulations pertaining to
inland  waterways transport  systems, especially  for  Lake Victoria.    The
Uganda Railways  Corporation has  adequate locomotives  and general  purpose
wagons.    Nevertheless,  arrangements   are  under  way  to  alleviate  the
situation relating to the lack of tankers and container wagons.

23.  Issues pertaining  to faster transit of  goods across borders are being
addressed through, inter alia, the creation of a modern customs facility  at
Malaba  and  the  installation  of  the  Advanced  Cargo  Information System

(ACIS). The Government intends to set  up an inland dry port in Uganda, with
a view  to  minimizing the  delays  associated  with customs  and  clearance

24.    Transport  infrastructure  rehabilitation  and  maintenance  for  the
transit  network is  one of  the major  priorities in the  public investment
programme  in  Uganda.     Furthermore,  the  Government   has  reduced  its
intervention in  transit  transport operations  as  part  of its  policy  to
liberalize trade and transport.


25.  With regard  to policies and actions  to improve intraregional  transit
trade, Zambia  supports the simplification  and harmonization of customs and
administrative  documentation,  including the  implementation  of  the  Road
Customs Transit  Document  (RCTD),  which  is  designed  to  facilitate  and
expedite road traffic operations.  Zambia  also attaches great importance to
action   by  PTA   and  SADC   member   States   in  the   following  areas:
rehabilitation  and   maintenance  of  the   transport  infrastructure,  the
establishment of dry ports  to speed up transit time, the implementation  of
the   regional  bond   guarantee   scheme,  gradual   relaxation   of   visa
requirements, accession to  the harmonized commodity description and  coding
system, lifting  of export  and import  duties  on transit  traffic and  the
development of bonded warehouses.

              B.  Summaries of replies received from international

Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) 3/

26.   Land-locked countries have benefited  from specific action in the area
of transport  and communications  to  ease the  flow of  transit traffic  at
regional or  subregional levels.  Under  the ongoing project  related to the
Second United Nations Transport and Communications  Decade in Africa, ECA is
required to  coordinate and facilitate  the consolidation and  establishment
of  a network of  transport corridors  through appropriate  mix of transport
modes, including  those that serve  the interests  of land-locked countries.
A  survey of transit  costs for  transit transport  is to be  conducted on a
subregional basis and various seminars in the  field of road transport  have
been  convened to  help these  countries  in  identifying the  main problems
associated  with  road  deterioration  and  poor  maintenance  of truck  and
transit roads,  as well  as in  strengthening  human resources  capabilities
within  the transport  and communications  sector.    ECA has  also prepared
studies and  technical publications on subjects  such as  the development of
inland container  terminals, the  evaluation of  railway transport  services
and the development of  freight forwarding, which are being used by  transit
countries  in  the  management  and  planning  of  their  transit  transport

27.    ECA  is  also  carrying  out  activities  which  benefit  land-locked
countries  in  such fields  as  statistics  and  data  processing, food  and
agriculture,  industry and  human  settlements, marine  affairs,  water  and
energy resources.

Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) 4/

28.   ECE plays an important role  in trade and transport facilitation.  Its
work in  this area involves the  development of  legal instruments governing
international transport of goods and passages of vehicles.

29.   With regard to the international transport of  goods, ECE has played a
key  role  in   putting  in  place  various  international  conventions  and
agreements  that regulate rail  traffic and  international road  traffic.  A

range  of procedures for temporary importation, transport of dangerous goods
and for  border controls  of goods  have also  been developed.   The  border
controls of  goods  is regulated  by  the  International Convention  on  the
Harmonization of  Frontier Controls of  Goods. The  Convention covers  areas
such as customs procedures and other controls, medico-sanitary  inspections,
veterinary inspection and phyto-sanitary inspection.

30.   The  facilitation  of the  passage of  road  vehicles is  governed  by
international conventions  which are supplemented  by bilateral  agreements.
The regulatory measures of this legal regime cover road permits and  quotas,
temporary  importation  of vehicles,  international motor  vehicle insurance
and taxation of road vehicles in international traffic.

31.   International  transport operations  in  Europe  are regulated  by two
European Agreements  on Road  Traffic and  on Road  Signs and  Signals.   In
addition to  these agreements,  a  large number  of multilateral  agreements
facilitate international road transport in Europe  and are concerned,  inter
alia,  with transport  documents,  liability  of road  carriers,  and  civil
liability  for  damages  caused  during the  carriage  of  dangerous  goods.
Furthermore,  three   multilateral  infrastructure   agreements  have   been
negotiated between  the European Governments  to facilitate cooperation  and
coordination  among  them  with regard  to  the  development  of homogeneous
transport  infrastructure.     These  legal  transport  systems  in   Europe
constitute useful models, which can be adapted in developing countries.

Economic Commission for Latin America and the
Caribbean (ECLAC) 5/

32.  ECLAC supports South America's  two land-locked countries -Bolivia  and
Paraguay  -  in their  efforts  to  improve  transport  and customs  transit
facilities across  neighbouring countries for access  to seaports.   ECLAC's
assistance in this  area is carried  out at  both the  multilateral and  the
bilateral level.  Bolivia  in particular  has  been  the recipient  of  such
assistance.    ECLAC  recently  collaborated  with  UNCTAD  in  preparing  a
proposal  to install  the rail  component  (RailTracker)  of ACIS  to handle
traffic between Arica (Chile)  and La Paz.   Bolivia and Chile are currently
seeking financing for  this project.  In the  other two cases, ECLAC  helped
Bolivia to formulate and negotiate separate  agreements with Chile and  Peru
to  facilitate transit operations to  and from certain  ports on the Pacific
Ocean.   These  operations are  carried  out  within  the framework  of  the
integrated transit  system (SIT), whereby  goods imported to Bolivia through
Chile or Peru can  automatically be transshipped to the railways for  onward
movement without additional customs procedures.

Economic and Social Commission for Asia and
the Pacific (ESCAP) 6/

33.  There  are all together 12 land-locked  countries in the ESCAP  region,
namely:   Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan,  Bhutan, Kazakstan,  Kyrgyzstan,
Lao   People's   Democratic   Republic,    Mongolia,   Nepal,    Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan,  and Uzbekistan.   The  efforts  of  the ESCAP  secretariat to
assist the land-locked and transit countries of the region have been  mainly
focused on  land transport,  transit arrangements,  environment and  natural
resource management, technical  development and  trade promotion.  In  order
to enhance further the trade of its member  countries within and outside the
region, the ESCAP secretariat promotes regional and subregional  cooperation
for  the development  of land  transport infrastructure  in Asia,  including
land-locked  countries.  In this regard, the proposed project on Asian Land-
locked  Transport Infrastructure Development  (ALTID) is  expected to make a
major  contribution to the  development of  transport infrastructure  in the

  34.  Resolution 48/11 adopted by  the Commission recommended the accession
of  all  its  members to  major international  conventions  in the  field of

transport facilitation.   Regarding  facilitation of  rail freight  traffic,
the ALTID project will  focus not only on the southern route linking  Europe
and  South-East Asia but also on the northern  route providing a Europe-Asia
transport  alternative  with  a  competitive  edge  over  the  existing  sea
transport routes.  It is planned that this railway line will be  operational
by 1997.

35.   A  number  of land-locked  and transit  countries  of the  region  are
signatory to  several international conventions on  transit traffic such  as
the  Convention and  Statute on  Freedom of  Transit and  the Convention  on
Transit  Trade of  Land-locked  States.   Bilateral transit  agreements also
exist between  some of  the land-locked  countries of  the region and  their
transit  neighbours.   The development  of  a  regional transit  treaty that
could be used as a model  by all countries could further improve the transit
system.    In  this  connection,  the  ESCAP  secretariat  is  exploring the
possibility  of  assisting  interested  countries  in  developing  such   an

36.   ESCAP activities  also focus  on problems  confronting the land-locked
countries  regarding  the development  of  food  processing,  in  particular
deficiencies in the  storage and  transport systems.   Technical  assistance
for  trade promotion  of the  land-locked countries  has  traditionally been
accorded  priority  attention  in  the  secretariat's  mandate  relating  to
international trade.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

37.  ITU is  aware of the communication needs of the land-locked  developing
countries, particularly their national and external telecommunication  needs
for overall  development in general and  for the  enhancement and management
of  transport   systems  in  particular.     In  Africa,   the  Pan  African
Telecommunication  Network  (PANAFTEL) was  developed  to  facilitate intra-
African  communication and  trade and  any telecommunication  links  between
land-locked countries  and their  neighbours with  access to  the sea.   The
network  provided very  useful services  in managing  and controlling  these
systems.  Telecommunication facilities of all  sorts are therefore of  great
value to land-locked countries.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 7/

38.  The transit transport systems  of the land-locked developing  countries
can only be effectively improved with  the cooperation of transit countries.
Any  proposed  changes  in  transit  systems  must,  therefore,  take   into
consideration   the  interest  of  both  the  land-locked  and  the  transit
countries concerned.   UNDP's support  to land-locked and transit  countries
is  at  the  country  or  regional  level,  with  capacity-building  as  the
overriding strategic objective of such support.   Most national projects and
programmes  financed  by  UNDP in  the  land-locked  countries  directly  or
indirectly take  into account  the particular  geographical difficulties  of
these countries.

 World Bank 8/

39.   Since the  World Bank  is already active  in many  of the  land-locked
developing  countries, it has  the potential  to play  an important  role in
successfully contributing  to the  development of the  transport systems  of
these countries, particularly with regard to  the facilitation of access  to
import and export  markets.  The  Bank's basic operational goals  of poverty
alleviation and food security are dependent  on improving the reliability of
transit operations.  While the  Bank has no  policy specifically  addressing
the problems of land-locked countries, most  relevant issues are covered  in
broader policies  related  to  transport and  trade facilitation,  and  fall
within the  broader approach  encouraging a  broader commercial  orientation

and   promoting  competitiveness  in  transport  services.    The  Bank  has
undertaken  a  number  of  regional  studies   aimed  at  gaining  a  better
understanding of the  magnitude of  the problems  in land-locked  developing
countries and  enhancing efforts to  facilitate regional trade  development.
On  the operational level, it  has approved several projects in Africa which
put special  emphasis on  linking up  land-locked developing countries  with
their transit neighbours.

             C.  Summaries of replies received from intergovernmental

African Development Bank 9/

40.  The Bank  has not yet elaborated  any specific policy  with respect  to
land-locked  and  transit countries.   However,  given  that 15  out of  the
Bank's 51  regional member  countries are  land-locked  countries, the  Bank
has,  since its  establishment,  provided  support to  the  land-locked  and
transit  countries, by  financing projects and studies  related to transport
infrastructure.  Particular reference should be  made to the Bank's  support
to the United Nations  Transport and Communications Decade in Africa and  to
the establishment  of a  reform programme  for UDEAC.   With  regard to  the
future, the Bank will  provide special support to  private, public and semi-
public transport  companies whose activities promote the process of economic
integration in the region.

Asian Development Bank

41.   In  the formulation  of  transport  and communications  projects,  the
problems  of  land-locked  developing countries  members  of  the  Bank have
always  been taken  into  account.   In Nepal  and  Mongolia, the  Bank  has
supported the  air transport  sector.   The Bank also  assisted Mongolia  in
strengthening  its   international  telecommunications  links.    Through  a
regional  technical  assistance for  six  countries  of  the greater  Mekong
subregion,   the  Bank   has  identified   priority  projects   to   improve
transportation among these countries.

42.  The Bank's future assistance strategy is  to continue its past emphasis
on regional  cooperation among  the member  States.   Furthermore, the  Bank
supports the  establishment of an effective  legal and regulatory  framework
to govern  the development  and improvement of transport  and communications
infrastructure. Future  bank assistance to  land-locked countries will  also
include the support for the development  of harmonized systems of procedures
for handling transit cargo.

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

43.  One of the main  objectives of ECOWAS is to put in place an integrated,
coordinated, efficient  and responsive transit  system within the  Community
that should meet the long-term needs  for socio-economic development of  the
subregion. The  weak implementation and  reinforcement of agreed  protocols,
however, is a major  impediment in improving transit systems.  For  example,
it has  been observed that agreed customs procedures related to the Protocol
on Inter-State Road Transit (ISRT) are not followed and, as a result,  there
are  increased delays  in  the movement  of  cargo.    With respect  to  the
guarantee mechanism  for inter-State road  transit of  goods established  by
the Community,  which is aimed  at reducing costs  and solving the  problems
related  to the escort for vehicles in transit, the executive secretariat of
ECOWAS  has mounted  a  campaign  directed at  national administrations  and
economic operators,  with a view to  achieving effective  application by all
member States of the mechanism.  As for  the single road transport  document
valid  for  movement across  several  countries,  the poor  coordination  of
multiple enforcement measures  and the frequent violations of the provisions
of the  agreement by transport operators  are still major constraints in the

effective implementation of the document.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

44.  The  UNDP/ICAO regional project for  Asia and the Pacific (RAS/93/032),
scheduled to be implemented in 1996,  will benefit the land-locked countries
of the region.  Although there is considerable scope for the development  of
air freight  in these countries,  there are  still a  range of  difficulties
hindering the full  development of an efficient  air freight system.   These
include:  unsuitable,  old,  or  uneconomical  aircraft  utilized  for   air
freight; absence of  bilateral air transport agreements; inefficient  ground
facilities; underdeveloped  organization  and  management  capabilities  for
marketing  and air  freight activities;  large imbalance  between volume  of
imports  and  exports;  and lack  of  coordination  and cooperation  between
neighbouring countries with respect to air freighting.

Ministerial Conference of West and Central African States
on Maritime Transport (MINCONMAR)

45.  MINCONMAR's maritime policy gives  special attention to the  particular
needs  of the  land-locked member  countries, particularly  with respect  to
transit matters.  An  ad hoc commission was set  up in October 1979 to study
the  constraints of land-locked  countries.   Recommendations have been made
by the ad  hoc commission regarding, inter  alia, the issue of  preferential
freight  rates  for  land-locked  countries,  the  participation  of   these
countries  in port activities  and the establishment of institutional bodies
such  as "shippers  councils" and  the simplification  of the administrative
and customs procedures. However, inadequate  support by the  donor community
has made the  implementation of the  above initiatives difficult.   In  this
regard it  is also  noted that  the UNDP/UNCTAD  transit transport  project,
which  was  heavily  involved  in  improving  the  transit  systems  in  the
subregion, has had to be discontinued for lack of donor support.

Permanent Secretariat of the Transit Transport Coordination
Authority of the Northern Corridor

46.   The  Authority's policy  with  regard  to infrastructure  includes the
enforcement of axle-load limits for transit  vehicles; more extensive use of
rail for transit traffic; the establishment  of inland container depots; and
the improvement  of road  safety on  transit routes.    So far  as the  non-
physical aspects of transit transport are  concerned, efforts are being made
to reduce transit costs  and transit time  by the formulation and  follow-up
of a number of measures with  regard to customs formalities  for containers,
harmonization  of  working  hours  and joint  controls  at  transit adjacent
customs posts.   Improvement of the efficiency  of the Road Customs  Transit
Document  (RCTD)  is  also  sought.  Furthermore,  the  abolition  of  other
administrative  and  statutory  impediments to  the  free  flow  of  transit
traffic  -  such  as  high  transit   taxes,  police  escorts,  and  reduced
permissible  transit time -  are among  the major objectives of  the work of
the Coordination  Authority.  The Authority  has also  initiated measures to
develop and  improve  lake traffic  operations,  and  the training  for  the
various groups of operators involved in transit transport.

Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern African States

47.   The original objective of integrating the socio-economic fabric of the
PTA through  transport and communications continues  to be  of high priority
in the  1990s and  beyond, as enunciated  in the PTA  Trade and  Development
Strategy adopted by the Tenth Summit of the  PTA Authority in January  1992.
Between   1982  and   1992,  substantial  progress  has   been  achieved  in
rehabilitating  and upgrading  transport and  communication  infrastructures
that had become unserviceable.

48.   Poor  road conditions  are  primarily  responsible for  high operating
costs.  However,  the  efficiency  of the  industry  could  be substantially
improved  by:  improving  the  availability  of  vehicles  and  spare parts,
improving access to  commercial credit, and reducing government  regulations
and restrictions  on market entry.   In most countries  members of the  PTA,
priority is  traditionally given  to the  construction of  new roads  rather
than the maintenance of existing ones.   A large part of  the network can be
saved at a reasonable cost if timely periodic maintenance is undertaken.

49.   The PTA programmes on  insurance, the use of  the single Road  Customs
Transit Document (RCTD),  the enforcement of standards for axle-load limits,
the harmonization  of  road user  charges,  and  the liberalization  of  the
commercial  trucking  industry  have significantly  reduced  transit related
costs  and  facilitated  the  movement  across  frontiers  of  vehicles  and

50.  The strategy  for the revival of railways focuses on institutional  and
policy  reforms, which  include, among  others, granting  by Governments  of
managerial  and  commercial autonomy  to  railways.    In  the PTA  railways
strategy for the  1990s and beyond priority is  given to the development  of
railways  as  the main  mode  of  transport.   With  respect  to  multimodal
transport,  priority  is  being  accorded  to  investments  in   appropriate
technology that  will facilitate the development  of containerization.   The
potential  to   improve  inland   waterways  transport   faces  a  host   of
difficulties which make it  expensive and inefficient. This  is due to  lack
of policy  coordination among  bordering countries  for  the development  of
waterways.    Following  a  recommendation  by  the  PTA  secretariat,  four
permanent technical  committees were  established to  propose and  implement
joint  regional  transport programmes  including  those  related  to  inland
waterways development.

D.  Conclusions

51.    The  replies  summarized  in   this  document  came  from  individual
countries, United Nations  regional commissions and specialized agencies  as
well  as  from intergovernmental  organizations.    Although a  much  larger
number  of  replies  would  have  been  desirable  in  order  to  draw  firm
conclusions, these  replies do make  general observations  that are relevant
to the basic issues and problems of transit transport.

52.  The  replies clearly underline the fact that rail and road services are
particularly relevant for  transit transport operations.  Although  physical
infrastructure development  remains a priority  concern for many  countries,
the  removal of  non-physical barriers  to  the  smooth movement  of transit
cargoes  is assuming  significant importance  in the formulation  of transit
transport  policies.    This  relates  largely  to  the  simplification  and
harmonization of  customs and administrative  procedures in  ports and along
the  transit transport corridors, as  well as to the simplification of other
controls for the  movement of  cargo.  Furthermore,  railways are now  being
required to  operate more  on  the  basis of  commercial criteria.    Inter-
railway  cooperation  arrangements  are  also  being  increasingly promoted.
Investments  in road  transport  infrastructure are  directed  more  towards
maintenance than  to construction of  new roads.   Road users  are having to
make   a  greater   contribution  towards  the  cost   of  construction  and
maintenance of roads through the introduction of road user charges.

53.   Inter-State cooperation is considered essential  for efficient transit
transport  operations.   Bilateral  agreements  have been  the  most  common
instruments  for  such  cooperation.    In  addition,  in  Africa,  regional
agreements within  the  context  of  regional integration  schemes  such  as
ECOWAS,  PTA and UDEAC have  been a major  vehicle for promoting cooperative
arrangements.   The  need to  ratify  international conventions  related  to
transit  transport has been  recognized, but  few countries  in Africa, Asia
and Latin  America have become parties  thereto.  The  scope and content  of
regional agreements  in the  framework of  ECOWAS and  PTA have  encompassed

broad  issues in transit transport, including commitments relating to common
road standards, permissible axle-load limits, international customs  transit
regimes and institutional arrangements.

54.    On the  whole, the  implementation of  agreed regional  standards and
practices  has   been  unsatisfactory  because   of  the  lack  of  adequate
mechanisms  to monitor  and enforce  the  agreed rules  and practices.   The
Northern  Corridor  Transit  Agreement,  which  sets   out  the  terms   and
conditions for the use of the transit corridor  from Mombasa, Kenya, to  the
land-locked countries  of Uganda, Rwanda and  Burundi is,  perhaps, the most
successfully  implemented  agreement.     The  agreement  created  a   small
secretariat  which  has  been  active  in  reviewing  problems  arising from
implementation  of the  Northern Corridor  Transit Agreement  and  assisting
member  States to resolve them.  Technical assistance  from UNCTAD and other
international agencies is generally viewed as  a critical support measure to
improve the  efficiency of transit transport  operations.   The replies from
agencies have underlined the continued importance of such assistance.


  1/  For the list of the key documents before  the Symposium, see annex III
to the report of the intergovernmental meeting.

  2/  Afghanistan, Benin,  Bolivia, Brazil, Bhutan,  Cameroon, China, Congo,
Eritrea, Ethiopia,  Guinea, India,  Iran (Islamic  Republic of),  Kazakstan,
Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Malawi,  Mali,
Mongolia,  Namibia,  Nepal,  Niger,  Nigeria,  Pakistan,  Paraguay,  Rwanda,
Thailand, Togo, Uganda and Uzbekistan.

  3/  For the full text, see UNCTAD/LDC/Misc.30.

  4/  For the full text, see UNCTAD/LDC/Misc.34.

  5/  For the full text, see UNCTAD/LDC/Misc.28.

  6/  For the full text, see UNCTAD/LDC/Misc.27.

  7/  For the full text, see UNCTAD/LDC/Misc.35.

  8/  For the full text, see UNCTAD/LDC/Misc.31.

  9/  For the full text, see UNCTAD/LDC/Misc.33.



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Date last posted: 18 December 1999 16:30:10
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